The Past of Broadcast and Forecast

Lots of people use “forecasted” and “broadcasted” as the past tense of those verbs. The AP Stylebook says to use “forecast” and “broadcast” for both the present and past tenses.

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary lists the –ed forms of the past tense after the word “also,” which means that form is a secondary variant, meaning that it occurs less frequently than the –cast form of the past tense. Therefore, it’s not preferred.

The root word “cast” is an irregular verb that means to throw. Forecast means that you throw or look forward, and broadcast means that you throw broadly.

Present Examples:

I regularly cast scathing looks at misbehaving children.

We forecast our production volumes monthly now.

They broadcast the news every night at 6 p.m.

Simple Past Examples:

I cast a scathing look at a misbehaving child last Sunday.

We forecast our production volumes quarterly last year.

They broadcast the news every night at 5 p.m. last year.

Past Participle Examples:

I had cast a scathing look at that misbehaving child the Sunday before that, too.

We had forecast our production volumes quarterly since 1906.

They had broadcast the news every night at 11 p.m. since the TV was invented.

How shall we remember this? Easy!  If it ends in –cast, the past is –cast. Hey, that rhymes!
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Quote of the Day:

“Accursed who brings to light of day the writings I have cast away.”

– William Butler Yeats, Irish poet, 1865-1939

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